Jump to content

Japanes train types in timetable


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

hope you can help me.


These days I started to create a Seishun-18 tour for my next Japan trip. I'm very addicted to the old written/printed timetable books you get on the platforms.


As I know you can only take "local" trains for the ticket. So far, so good. My problem now is, that I don't know about any Japanese and what the letters behind the train number stands for.


For example there is 1344M or 218F and so on. Is it possible to give me some hint? I just want to understand further how that works.


Here are some pictures I took from the 4/2017 timetable whom I gather my information additional to the openrailwaymap.


Sure there are some longer running trains which also includes Green Cars. 😉


My goal is to go from Kyushu to Hokkaido completely by commuter trains. It's some crazy plan I know, but I think I can make it.


Thanks in advance




Link to post
12 minutes ago, Yamanote-sen said:

For example there is 1344M or 218F and so on. Is it possible to give me some hint? I just want to understand further how that works.


If i'm not wrong, the letter after the number refers to the "up" and "down" direction of the train, with different letters for each line.


For example, here's a Keihin-Tohoku Line E233-1000 Series, wich is displaying the "1544B" service number and an older 209 Series with the "23C" service number.


In this case, the "XXXXB" trains are the "down" trains (toward Ofuna), and the "XXXXC" trains are the "up" trains to Omiya.


Generally, "up" trains run towards the line's "Kilopost 0" (in the Keihin-Tohoku Line case, Omiya Station) while the "down" trains are those moving in the opposite direction, away from Km0.

Link to post

I thought that this shown by odd or even numbers 🤔


Here is some example (2nd day):



All trains are going up to north direction......


Thank you 🙂

Edited by Yamanote-sen
wrong day of plan
Link to post

[M] refers to electric multiple unit (EMU) trains. [D] would designate a diesel multiple unit service. Other letters are used to identify specific services on specific lines on the various railways, primarily within their urban networks (which have extremely dense service patterns, which necessitates additional symbols beyond the general [M] designation). We are talking primarily JR East, West, and Tokai.  For example, train 218F Maibara-Ogaki, the [F] designation is a JR Tokai symbol applied to local and rapid service trains between Maibara and Toyohashi on the Tokaido Main Line. Another, train 1644E Atami-Kuroiso, [E] is a JR East symbol that designates Ueno-Tokyo Line trains not running on either JR Tokai rails (i.e Numazu-Atami) or on the Joban Line.

  • Like 2
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...